Dramamine for Dogs: Is It Safe?
Dogs can experience some sorts of health problems that humans do. However, do those medications work the same for dogs?
Let’s take into account, for example, Dramamine for dogs. Is it safe? What does the effect on dogs?
Generally, human medication is not recommended to be taken by pets. But there are some situations where are vet will prescribe these kinds of drugs.
Dramamine is mainly used by nervous flyers or seasick passengers. If you get motion sickness, you know that is not delightful at all.
This blog will discuss everything you’ll need to know about Dramamine for dogs.
Below, you’ll find out Dramamine’s side effects, how long will it stay in the dog’s body, and other alternative treatments for motion sickness.
We’ll also discuss the proper Dramamine dosage for dogs and how will you administer it to your pet. Now, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Dramamine for Dogs: What is Dramamine?
Let’s first tackle what Dramamine is first.
The main active ingredient of Dramamine is Dimenhydrinate, which is an antihistamine used to prevent motion sickness.
These antihistamines are usually used to treat allergies, but they can also be used to help reduce or treat nausea.
Scientists don’t exactly know how they do it, but it shows an effective treatment for motion sickness in humans.
Even though Dramamine is a human medication, sometimes, it is used as an “off-label” in pets. Meaning this drug has not gone through the FDA approval process.
Dramamine is a combination of two drugs: diphenhydramine and 8-chlorotheophylline.
First, diphenhydramine, also known as Benadryl, is used to reduce vomiting, and second, 8-chlorotheophylline is for reducing the drowsiness associated with diphenhydramine.
Vets, however, can still prescribe these kinds of “off-label” drugs in certain situations such as when there’s no animal drug approved for the intended use or when the approved animal drug does not contain the active ingredient you need.
Dramamine is an over-the-counter drug that comes in multiple formulations, such as oral solutions, tablets, and a solution for injection.
How Does Dramamine Work?
Are you allergic to dust mites? Maybe a dog and cat fur trigger your allergy? Or it can even be from food.
During these allergic reactions, the body produces histamines. These are chemicals that try to find and eliminate something that’s causing a problem.
During this process, keep in mind that your heart rate and breathing can increase. It can also cause nausea, or you might feel like the room is spinning.
However, Dramamine uses antihistamines for a different purpose, and this is all for seasick passengers, nervous flyers, or just those who experience motion sickness in general.
When you’re experiencing motion sickness, your body produces acetylcholine. It is the one responsible for the side effects of motion sickness.
So how does Dramamine works during this? Well, in this procedure, the antihistamines block the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
Dramamine helps reduce the effects of motion sickness by stopping the production of acetylcholine, and it puts our body in a semi-sedated condition.
Is Dramamine Safe for Dogs?
Yes, Dramamine is safe for dogs as long as it is prescribed by your veterinarian. This drug might be available over the counter, but you should always wait for your vet’s approval.
This goes the same for any kind of drugs that you want to administer to your pets. It’s best advised to consult with your vet first.
Not only will your vet give you the right medication, but the vet can also provide the proper dosing and instructions for using this drug.
What is Dramamine Used for in Dogs?
Dramamine is used to treat a few types of conditions in dogs. Dramamine can be used to treat motion sickness and allergies and can even relieve anxiety in dogs.
Motion Sickness in Dogs
If your dog frequently vomits when traveling, it’s because of motion sickness. Sudden changes in balance can trigger motion sickness.
Motion sickness is connected to the dog’s vestibular system. The vestibular system includes the inner ear which sends sensory information to the brain that connects to motion and balance.
Let’s say your dog is on a car ride, and the car turns in the road or in a zigzag way. The vestibular system is imbalanced and will trigger motion sickness.
Motion sickness is usually found in puppies or younger dogs because they have underdeveloped vestibular systems. Fortunately, puppies can outgrow motion sickness.
But maybe hold off on those long road and boat trips until your pup is all grown up.
Symptoms of Motion Sickness In Dogs
Of course, dogs can’t tell you what exactly they feel. That’s why learning these signs can go a long way in figuring out what they’re feeling and how to help them.
Below is a short list of motion sickness symptoms in dogs:
- Excessive Drooling
- Excessive yawning
- Excessive licking
- Fast breathing
Just like humans, dogs are prone to different types of allergies. For instance, we have skin allergies, food allergies, and acute allergic reactions.
Dogs can be allergic to specific kinds of foods, animal proteins, plants, insects, small chemical molecules, and more.
Some of these allergies can result in a runny nose and eyes; others manifest with itchy skin.
Since Dramamine is an antihistamine drug, it efficiently relieves these symptoms. But keep in mind that Dramamine fights off the symptoms, not the actual allergy cause.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
A few of the symptoms that can be seen in a dog suffering from allergies are:
- Red or inflamed skin
- Runny nose or eyes
- Excessive licking
Since Dramamine has a sedative side effect, it can also be used to relieve or manage anxiety in dogs.
But using Dramamine for anxiety is uncommon for dogs since there are now plenty of other anti-anxiety medications available that are much better for anxiety relief.
Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
How can you tell if your dog has anxiety? A few important signs to look out for are:
- Excessive vocalization
- Destructive behavior or aggression
- Urinating or defecating in the house
- Excessive drooling
- Compulsive behaviors
How to Give Dramamine to Dogs
If your vet has prescribed Dramamine for your dog’s motion sickness, the next thing to ask is the dosing and how you will administer it to your pup.
Luckily for you, Dramamine is an over-the-counter drug that needs no prescription. You can buy it from most drug stores or even grocery stores.
Usually, Dramamine comes in a pill or tablet form. Giving your pup a tablet-form drug can be quite tricky. But the easiest way to do it is to hide it in their favorite treat.
First, offer them treats without the pill. If they take it (which, of course, they will. It’s their favorite treat!), offer the next treat with the pill hidden inside it and immediately follow it up with another treat without the pill.
If you’ve bought the liquid formulation of Dramamine, you’ll need the provided syringe. Make sure you draw up the proper dose and gently hold your dog’s head in place.
Nex thing you’ll do is slide the syringe into the corner of your dog’s mouth behind his teeth. Administer the drug as soon as it’s in place.
To ensure that your pup swallows the medication, hold your dog’s head upright for a few seconds.
Dramamine Dosage for Dogs
The dosing of Dramamine for dogs will depend on your dog’s weight. For example, the smaller the dog, the smaller the dose.
Your vet will be able to tell you what’s the right dose for your pup. Usually, vets follow a dosing structure of 2-4mg of Dramamine per pound of body weight.
Make sure that you and your vet get the exact weight of your dog. Estimating can lead to over-medicating or giving an ineffective dose.
Dramamine typically comes in a split 50mg pill. This means that half of the pill is 25mg.
If your dog is about 6.5 lbs, it is usually safe to give them up to half of the pill. However, it is best advised to start with a quarter of a tablet.
Dog Conditions Where Dramamine for Dogs is Not Advisable
Do you know why it’s best to consult with your vet first before giving pets medication?
It’s because some of them might have a condition where it’s not advisable to take these drugs.
If your dog is allergic to antihistamines, it’s common sense to not give them Dramamine. Giving them this drug will be dangerous for them since Dramamine is an antihistamine.
If your dog has any of the health problems below, do not give them Dramamine. Instead, contact your vet to know what needs to be done instead.
- Antihistamine allergy
- High blood pressure
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Kidney disease
- Liver problems
- Lung problems
- Heart disease
- Prostate disease
- Gastric outflow
With all things considered, if your pup doesn’t have any of the listed health problems above, it should be safe for them to take Dramamine.
Side Effects of Dramamine on Dogs
Just like any other drug, Dramamine can cause potential side effects. But you can reduce the chances of that happening.
How? By consulting with your vet and following their advice.
When it comes to the side effects of Dramamine, the most common reactions are sedation or sleepiness.
This side effect is most common in herding dog breeds that are more sensitive to the sedative effects of antihistamines like Dramamine.
Other side effects can be dry mouth and urine retention.
Overdosing in Dramamine is possible, and it can be seen even if you’ve administered 1 mg above the proper dose.
If you’ve accidentally given your dog a high dose of this antihistamine, a few of these side effects may occur:
- Excessive barking
- Loss of appetite
- Hypersensitivity reactions
Dramamine’s Reactions with Other Drugs and Medication
For more safety precautions, you should know that Dramamine can react with other medications.
Interactions can happen with other drugs like:
- Methamphetamine and similar medicines
- MAO Inhibitors
- CNS depressant medications
- Azole antifungals
- Macrolide drugs
Alternative Solution for Motion Sickness in Dogs
Most pets will be fine with Dramamine. However, every dog is unique, and some might not take it and will want a more natural treatment.
Especially if your dog’s issue with car travel has been going on for years or their nausea and vomiting occurs regularly. If that’s the case, it’s best not to drug them every week.
Instead, you can try out these methods that can help make them feel comfy and safe during travel time.
One of the most common and effective methods for dogs that experience motion sickness or anxiety during travel is crate training.
Crate training is the process of helping your pup feel relaxed and safe in a cage.
Achieving this can help make road trips easier since being in their crate will help them feel comfortable rather than fearful.
If you want to crate-train your pet, you can start by stuffing the crate with their favorite things such as pillows, toys, and blankets. This can also help them think that it’s a bed than a box.
Remember to give your pup his favorite treat once they go in the crate. You can also leave treats and hide them in their pillows or toys to break negative associations they have with the crate.
Take Breaks on Your Trips
During road trips, it is important to take breaks. Long car trips are exhausting, and our dogs don’t have the same stamina that we do.
During these stopovers, you can let them out of the car for a walk, to eat, and for a bathroom break. These little things can help relieve their anxiety.
Not only that, but these breaks can also help the driver. If they feel sleepy, go and take a coffee break. That’s killing two birds with one stone!
CBD for Dogs
The world of CBD is rapidly growing, and one of the benefits of Cannabidiol is it can help with dogs suffering from motion sickness.
If you’re planning a long road trip, you can use CBD for dogs to help your pup relax and alleviate nausea.
Dogs can experience anxiety and stress while traveling. It is recommended to give your dog CBD 1 hour before travel time. However, make sure that you give the proper dose to avoid overdosing.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dramamine for Dogs
Will Dramamine make a dog sleepy?
Yes, the most common side effect of Dramamine is sedation. That’s why pet owners use this drug to help relieve their dog’s stress, anxiety, or motion sickness.
The primary component of Dramamine is diphenhydramine which causes drowsiness after 20 minutes of taking it.
But don’t worry because these side effects are usually mild and manageable. If you suspect that your pet is being lethargic due to other reasons, contact your vet immediately.
How Long Does Dramamine Last in Dogs?
Generally, Dramamine is a short-acting medication, and it should stop working within 24 hours.
The effects will be longer for pets suffering from liver or kidney problems.
Can Dramamine make a dog hyper?
The common side effect of Dramamine is sedation or sleepiness. However, on rare occasions, dogs can also experience a rapid heart rate and hyperactivity.
Dramamine for Dogs: Summary
If you’re planning a long car trip this upcoming week and you’re thinking of bringing your dog, you should know that not all dogs have fun on car rides.
Some dogs have motion sickness, which can be associated with nausea, vomiting, excessive drooling, and more.
As pet owners, it is only natural for us to think of ways to relieve this condition. After all, we’d do anything for our beloved dogs.
Dramamine for dogs is an over-the-counter drug that can be used to relieve nausea from motion sickness.
This drug is an antihistamine, making it a good medication not just for motion sickness but also for dog allergies and anxiety relief.
Your vet can give you the proper Dramamine dosage for dogs. Also, there are certain conditions where dogs are not allowed to have Dramamine.
For instance, dogs that are suffering from liver, heart, or lung problems are not advised to take this medication.
Dramamine is safe for dogs as long it is prescribed by your vet. Always consult with your vets first before administering any kind of medications or drugs.